10 Signs You Might Have a Thyroid Problem

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Overview.

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the throat, just behind the Adam’s apple. Its function is to produce vital hormones (mainly triiodothyronine and thyroxine) that regulate the body’s metabolism, growth, and development. The thyroid gland is responsible for our heart rate, body weight, muscle strength and control, breathing, body temperature, blood lipid levels and other important functions. That is why thyroid disorders may have a negative impact on every area of life. [1]

Thyroid conditions are 5 to 10 times more common in women than in men. According to the American Thyroid Association, 1 in 8 women in the United States have some kind of thyroid problem at some point in their lives. Over 60% of women with thyroid malfunction are completely unaware of the actual root cause of their health problems.

Thyroid disorders can be rather harmless, like goiter (enlarged gland) or serious, like cancer. However, most of these problems can be successfully managed when timely and duly diagnosed and treated. [2, 3]

Types of Thyroid Disorders.

There are two common types of thyroid problems – insufficient production and excessive production of thyroid hormones.

If the thyroid doesn’t produce the right levels of hormones to meet the body’s needs, this is called hypothyroidism. It literally slows down all of the processes taking place in the body. If the production of hormones is excessive, this is called hyperthyroidism. It speeds up all of the body’s processes. You are more likely to have an overactive thyroid if you have a family history of thyroid disease, other health conditions (such as pernicious anemia, type 1 or 2 diabetes, or primary adrenal insufficiency), or receive too much iodine with food or medication. [4]
There might be other thyroid issues as well, but most of them fall into either of the two categories.

The signs and symptoms caused by the two conditions can affect people differently, but let’s have a look at the most common of them. [5]

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